Hoping for past success, Taiwan-China duo wins at Australian Open

Taipei-Once the world’s top-ranked women’s doubles team, Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Peng Shuai of China are back together and got off to a good start at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

The Taiwan-China duo defeated Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania and Maria Irigoyen of Argentina 6-3, 7-5 in one hour and 19 minutes to advance to the second round of the year’s first Grand Slam tournament.

Seeded eighth in Melbourne, Hsieh and Peng will next take on the unseeded Lesley Kerkhove of the Netherlands and Lidziya Marozava of Belarus.

Hsieh and Peng won eight doubles titles between May 2013 and June 2014, including the 2013 Wimbledon title and 2014 French Open, going 8-0 in tournament finals during that span.

Those results vaulted the duo to the top of the world rankings, making Hsieh the first Taiwanese to earn a world No. 1 ranking in tennis.

Their partnership started to fizzle later in the year and they decided to split up after the U.S. Open that year, although they did play together a final time at the WTA Finals in October 2014, reaching the finals.

They partnered briefly for two tournaments in 2016, and got back together last week at the Sydney International, where they lost their first-round match in straight sets to the unheralded pairing of Shuku Aoyama of Japan and Yang Zhaoxuan of China 6-4, 6-2.

Two other Taiwanese women were in Australian Open action in the doubles Tuesday.

Chan Hao-ching of Taiwan and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia, the 14th seeds, won their first round encounter against Laura Robson of Great Britain and Coco Vandeweghe of the United States 7-6 (3), 6-4.

Top-seeded Chan Yung-jan, who now uses her English name Latisha Chan on tour) and her new partner this year, Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic, rolled over Han Xinyun and Liang Chen of China 6-3, 6-0 in their opener.

Chan played most of last year with Martina Hingis, culminating in a U.S. Open title in September, the first Grand Slam victory of Chan’s lengthy career.

Hingis retired at the end of the year.

Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council